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The Campus Cookbook: Cheese Quesadillas

The Plainsman's Campus Cookbook series is here.

Dinner is served. The Plainsman is now starting a new cookbook series, which will focus on meal ideas that are under ten dollars and easy for college students—and anyone else—to make.

Each part of this series will spotlight Auburn’s very own students and their best food combinations—whether they are online recipes or spontaneous creations.

In doing this, we aim to bring joy to the Auburn campus and community in the form of delicious foods. Our community is full of hardworking individuals, and it is vital that we all have affordable and nutritious meals that can fuel our success.

The first spotlighted student of our cookbook series is Sarah Henslee, freshman in biosystems engineering.

Henslee believes that the cookbook series is a great idea because “being financially smart is really important in life, especially in college when you are already using your money everywhere.”

Henslee added to her initial statement on affordability, saying “there are a lot of things out there that can have a lot of nutrients in it for cheap.” She feels that the value of the food should weigh equal to its price.

Then, Henslee elaborates, stating, "I'm a fan of cheese quesadillas."

Henslee proceeds to provide the main ingredients of the meal, claiming to “put whatever shredded cheese [she] wants, usually cheddar, baby spinach leaves, and sometimes salsa” in the quesadillas.

This may sound like a rather simple idea to most. Great--that’s the point.

Henslee shares that the quesadillas take “around ten minutes” to make. She believes that this short amount of time also adds to the meal’s value because it saves time for busy people, like Auburn tigers.

So, what's the best way to make a cheese quesadilla? 

“I get a frying pan, turn on the stove, putting it like just above medium heat, grease the pan, and put the tortilla on there. Next, I put all the cheese and the spinach in it, and once it heats up a bit, I fold it over and then flip it until the tortilla is slightly browned,” Henslee said.

Henslee then gets into the specifics of her recipe, sharing that she uses “around ten baby spinach leaves, half of a cup of shredded cheese, one tortilla, and whatever toppings [she] wants.” She finds that the finished product is “great to dip in salsa.”

Henslee does not believe that the price of food always correlates to its quality. 

“If you just look in the right places, you can find quality everywhere,” Henslee said. 

In this instance, Henslee did not pull this idea from any outside sources and simply stated that she came up with it at home one day. 

“I thought, wow. This is really good for the effort and price that went into it," Henslee said.

Below is a summary of the ingredients and preparation for the quesadillas:

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- Approximately 10 Baby Spinach Leaves

- ½ Cup of Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Colby Jack, etc.)

- 1 Tortilla Shell

- Toppings (Optional): Salsa, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Hot Sauce, Cilantro

1. Grease a regular-sized frying pan and place it on the stove.

2. Turn the stove to medium heat. 

3. Place the spinach leaves and shredded cheese in the tortilla shell and fold it.

4. After a few minutes, flip the quesadilla so that both sides are slightly browned and the cheese is melted.

5. Add any additional toppings to the quesadilla and enjoy


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